supreme court

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Behind the bench in Georgia's Supreme Court, there is an inscription on the wall. It reads "Fiat justitia ruat caelum". It's Latin for "Let justice be done, though the heavens may fall." While Georgia was one of the last states at the time to establish its high court — in 1846 — there have been many firsts since.

That includes electing the first African-American woman as a Chief Justice, anywhere in the country, in 2005. The Honorable Leah Ward Sears broke a number of other precedents in her climb to the state's highest judicial title, and did not stop there. The now-retired Chief Justice joined On Second Thought to reflect on why she pursued a career in the law, the steep climb from lawyer to judge to the Georgia Supreme Court, and life after stepping down from the bench.


Left, Brian Kemp poses with supporters in Middle Georgia. RIght, Stacey Abrams poses with singer-songwriter John Legend
@BrianKempGA / @StaceyAbrams / Twitter

On this edition of Political Rewind, it's Hollywood versus Hawkinsville on the campaign trail. Democrat Stacey Abrams hopes support from celebrity names will energize young voters while Republican candidate Brian Kemp looks for votes closer to home during his rural county bus tour. Which strategy will prevail? 

The Senate voted Friday to end debate on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. What impact will the bitter fight over the nomination process have on the midterm elections?

Panelists:

Stacey Evans -- Former Gubernatorial Candidate

Aerial view of the United States Capitol building.
Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

On this edition of Political Rewind, we ask whether the spectacle playing out in the U.S. Senate tarnished its reputation. This week, the United States Supreme Court began a new term with eight justices sitting on the bench. As the battle over who will fill the next seat continues, how will the court proceed to preserve its reputation and act as a non-partisan arbiter of justice?


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The U.S. Senate plans to vote this Friday on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Given his record, predictions are that Kavanaugh will shift the court to a conservative majority. That got us wondering about what cases are on the docket for the term that began on Monday. We spoke with Fred Smith, Jr. about cases to watch during the 2018-2019 term. Smith is an associate professor of law at Emory University School of Law.

Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Georgians are divided and somewhat more in favor of Brett Kavanaughs' Supreme Court nomination than those who oppose it, after hearing from both Kavanaugh and the woman who accused him of sexual assault, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.  A new poll done by Landmark Communications shows that Georgians currently support the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme court by a margin of 49 percent to 43 percent. 

Brett Kavanaugh appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the third day of his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite, File / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, as Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court faces a make or break week, Sen. David Perdue (R-Georgia) urges his colleagues to take its time in vetting the allegations of sexual assault.


Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week in hopes of becoming the next justice to sit on the United States Supreme Court. Chaos and pandemonium marked the start of Kavanaugh’s hearing as democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee moved to delay the hearings.


(AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser, File)

From GPB News, this is Political Rewind.  Today, a long-awaited decision from the United States Supreme Court in Florida’s fight with Georgia over water rights from the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers.  We’ll discuss what happens next in the fight. 


Grant Blankenship / GPB

The long awaited U.S. Supreme Court decision named no clear winner in the decades long dispute between Florida and Georgia over the Chattahoochee/Flint River Basin. 

In a decision handed down Wednesday, the court remanded the dispute back to the Special Master, or investigator, they appointed to get to the bottom of the water issues. 


(AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

On this edition of Political Rewind, Governor Deal announces a first step to build new transit in metro Atlanta, a huge project along Georgia 400.  Is the state on track to tackle the region’s traffic headaches?


APC/GPB

On this edition of Political Rewind, the Democratic candidates for governor trade sharp blows and share kind words in their only statewide televised debate.  Can we expect the same when GOP candidates meet for their debate?  Evidence suggests that’s unlikely.  Plus, we now have figures showing us just how much the race for governor has cost—almost $13 million spent by candidates on both sides, so far.  Also, will the Supreme Court’s decision on sports gambling energize the forces pushing for casinos in Georgia, and what about horserace gambling?  We’ll look at the odds.

Mike Gonzalez / Wikimedia Commons

Georgia has been at war with Alabama and Florida over tri-state water use for decades. More recently, Tennessee entered the mix

The legal dispute began in 1990, when Alabama and Florida sued Georgia and the Army Corps of Engineers (COE) over a COE recommendation that a dam on the Chattahoochee River be used to supply Atlanta with water, rather than the states of Florida and Alabama. 

Updated on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. ET

Keith Gaddie has "hung up his spurs."

The election expert from the University of Oklahoma no longer helps state legislatures draw new district lines to maximize their partisan advantage.

He was still wearing those spurs in 2011 when he provided data that helped Wisconsin Republicans enact a legislative redistricting plan aimed at maximizing their power for the foreseeable future.

But now he has reversed course and filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the practice is undemocratic.

Whose ox is being illegally gored? That was the question in the first case argued Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court, the first of the new 2017 term.

The case may sound technical — a clash between two federal statutes. But at stake are the rights of tens of million private-sector nonunion employees.

The Supreme Court’s next term is underway, putting all three branches of the federal government to work for the fall.

One of the most-anticipated cases is a review of partisan gerrymandering, which could bring major changes to the art of politicking across the country.

But the court calendar is crowded with other cases, too. We’ll discuss the ones to watch and how new precedents might be established.

Wikipedia

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, alleging the company discriminates against older workers by not hiring them in the first place. This leaves in place a ruling from Atlanta’s 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. We discuss the implications with Paul Chichester, an Atlanta-based employment attorney. And Peter Gosselin, contributing reporter for ProPublica.

Andrew Harrer / BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

Judge Neal Gorsuch, President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, begins his three-day confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.

Republicans have praised the federal appeals court judge as a brilliant jurist who would continue in the conservative mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who he's vying to succeed. His nomination also fulfilled a key campaign promise for Trump, who helped woo wary Republicans with his pledge to nominate a conservative justice.

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LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

It seems like five weeks and not five days since the president announced he would be nominating federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

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The late Justice Antonin Scalia may not have been the original originalist, but he popularized what had once been a fringe legal doctrine. He argued for it both on and off the U.S. Supreme Court and brought originalism into if not the mainstream then at least into the center of legal debate.

In Washington, D.C., the cognoscenti confidently predict that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will be easily confirmed. But both supporters and opponents are chastened by the predictors' embarrassingly wrong prognostications over the past year. And that is presenting Senate Democrats in particular with a strategic dilemma.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Last night, President Donald Trump made good on his promise to appoint a conservative justice to the court to replace the late Antonin Scalia. His choice? Judge Neil Gorsuch.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Senate Republicans and conservative groups quickly rallied behind President Trump's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, as Democrats focused on lingering anger over another jurist: Merrick Garland.

"I had hoped that President Trump would work in a bipartisan way to pick a mainstream nominee like Merrick Garland and bring the country together," Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement in which he pledged a "thorough and unsparing" confirmation process for Gorsuch.

President Trump says he plans to announce his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court next week.

The Trump administration has begun to float specific names for the high court's vacancy. The consensus seems to be that among the finalists on Trump's shortlist are Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the federal appeals court based in Denver; Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of Alabama, who served on the federal appeals court based in Atlanta; and Judge Thomas Hardiman of Pittsburgh, who serves on the 3rd Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.

On Jan. 20, 2016, exactly a year before a new president would be sworn into office, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia announced the court's 8-to-1 decision reinstating the death penalty for two Kansas brothers.

It was the last time the 79-year-old Scalia would announce an opinion. Three weeks later, on a hunting trip in Texas, the conservative icon died in his sleep.

For more than a quarter century, two legislative districts in North Carolina have been ground zero in a fight over race and redistricting. In the course of that time, Republicans have taken control of the state Legislature, and the two political parties have reversed their legal positions regarding the use of race and drawing district lines.

In a decision striking down key aspects of a Texas abortion law Monday, the Supreme Court cast doubt on similar laws in nearly two-dozen states.

The Supreme Court has overturned a Texas law requiring clinics that provide abortions to have surgical facilities and doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The law was predicted to close many clinics and further reduce availability of abortion in Texas; the court has ruled the law violated the Constitution.

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Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland is President Obama's pick to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, NPR has learned.